Here at Mojo, we’re family. Being a family means we’re honest with each other across the board—whether you’re the CEO or an intern. Just recently, we decided to begin sharing the financials of Mojo with all employees through weekly meetings. While this might seem crazy, it’s actually a revolution that has been taking over the business world for quite some time. It's called “The Great Game of Business,” an intentional, programmatic form of open-book management based on the book by Jack Stack. Though it’s only been a few months since we hopped on this train, it’s already worthy of being our #MojoCrushMonday. If you haven’t heard of The Great Game of Business (or if you have and want to hear about our implementation at Mojo), keep reading!
“The best, most efficient, most profitable way to operate a business is to give everybody in the company a voice in saying how the company is run and a stake in the financial outcome, good or bad.” - The Great Game of Business
How The Great Game Works
The idea behind The Great Game of Business is that sharing the finances with employees of all levels will develop individual accountability and everyone will begin to think and act like business owners.
To implement this mentality, each employee is assigned a line-item (or two) to be responsible for, — whether a revenue or expense — that they will forecast each week during a huddle. This basically gives everyone a stake in the outcome. The better we do as an organization hitting our critical number as reflected in our actuals compared to our plan, the more funding goes into our bonus pool and, you guessed it, back towards investing in our employees and our business. The understanding of how every decision impacts the bottom line is what drives the mutual success that creates a strong organization.
How to Begin Implementing The Great Game
Create a MiniGame™
The Great Game uses “mini-games” that focus on one behavior change to solve a challenge and improve performance within the organization. Mojo’s last completed MiniGame was referred to as “time-blocking.” Time-blocking is designated periods of time employees agree not to talk, email, or Slack each other (a tool we love to use for communication) and instead, work solely on moving projects along. Just think about how much productivity is lost when someone interrupts you to ask a question (and then 10 more times... sorry, Raleigh). This MiniGame was so successful, we decided to continue time-blocking after it had ended!
Set Weekly Meetings
Since everyone is responsible for forecasting a specific line item, it’s important to set up a weekly huddle where everyone shares his or her forecasted numbers. This will give everyone an idea of how the numbers aremeasuring up to the organization’s goals for that month. By increasing awareness of how the numbers are adding up (and if bonuses will be given), the team can strategize on ways to improve or remain consistent based on the findings. We have collaborative conversations on ways we can decrease expenses and drive revenue, which teaches us about finance and accountability.
Why We Won’t Stop Playing This Game Anytime Soon
In the short time Mojo has been practicing The Great Game of Business, we’ve seen many of our costs cut down and moreresponsibility taken by all members of the team to make better business decisions. We’ve begun to ask ourselves if we really need to buy that premium SaaS feature or if buying the coffee creamer can wait until next month (yes, actual scenarios we’ve encountered).
The Great Game will continue to be a valuable tool in Mojo’s never-ending quest to increase revenue, decrease costs and improve performance. It's safe to say it will always be on the list of Mojo's crushes.